Beijing is China's second-largest city in terms of population after Shanghai
and is located on the east coast of the country on the East China Sea. The city is the political, educational, and cultural centre of the People's Republic of China
, while Shanghai and Hong Kong
predominate in economic fields. Founded 3,000 years ago, Beijing is an ancient city welcoming huge numbers of tourists every year to visit the famous tourist attractions including Tian'anmen (Gate of Heavenly Peace) and Tian'anmen Square which are located in Beijing centre, just to the south of the Forbidden City which was once the residence of the emperors of China.
The Beijing Central Business District is centred in the Chaoyang district close to the Guomao area where the China World Trade Center is located. The central business district is home to a variety of corporate regional headquarters and fortune 500 companies, shopping centres and high-end housing. The Beijing Financial Street, in the Fuxingmen and Fuchengmen area, is a traditional financial centre. The Wangfujing and Xidan areas are major shopping districts.
Beijing is a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and expressways entering and leaving it in all directions. Beijing airport is the main airport for the entry to the country and receives the majority of international visitors, the airport is about 20km northeast of the city centre and is a 45-minute drive away. Extensive improvements to road and metro transit took place in preparation for the Olympics which were held in 2008.